Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ties that Bind

The last few days have been a wonderful reminder to me about what is truly important in life.  Besides our walk with God, our friendships and our family are truly vital in our life. 

We have been blessed with some amazing friends that enrich our lives.  Friday we met up at the Bristol mall on a rainy day to eat lunch and bounce on the inflatbles. It was wonderful to let our kids play while we moms sat and laughed and caught up.  We believe in laughter being the best medicine for anything and I always come away with sore ab muscles from laughing!

 My grandfather (who passed away almost four years ago) had eleven siblings.  Eleven!!!  There are only three remaining of the original Wright family and last night in Radford we had a family reunion because my grandfather's brother, George, "BB" was in town from Texas.  He had a rough winter with his health and he really wanted to come home to Virginia this summer for perhaps his last visit on this side of heaven.  When he walked in my heart jumped because he looks identical to my Pawpaw who died.  Here he is addressing the crowd of about 31 at yummy Sal's restaurant. 
 

David sang the blessing for the crowd to begin eating. 
Here is Aunt Louise who is in her nineties!  She was so tickled at how cheeesy her dinner was! 
"BB" and his wife Shirley came from Texas which their two girls-Julie and Cathy.  Here is Julie sharing some of her memories from traveling from Texas to Virginia in their station wagon as a child. 
When it was time for the family pictures, David escorted Louise to her seat for the pictures.  He is almost as tall as Louise is.  She is in wonderful health for her age and lives very independently and is an awesome driver!  She is my hero!
Of the original eleven Wright children, there are three remaining.  Louise (on the left) lives in Radford,"BB" lives in New Braunfels, Texas, and Dollie recently moved to Gloucester with her husband to an assisted living facility near her daughter.  They have not seen each other in four years. 
Here is a picture of the children of the original eleven Wright children.  We are missing many in this picture, but it was great to see everyone. 
The whole crowd of us totalling 31!!
 My crazy kiddos with GG! 
 

 
This picture makes me kind of sad to look at, but here is the last time this crew got together four years ago when" BB" made his last trip to Radford from Texas.   This picture was taken exactly one month before my PawPaw (in the white shirt) passed away due to COPD. 
 
Whenever siblings that are in their eighties and nineties get together you often wonder if this will be the last time that they will see each other on this side of heaven.  Dollie and BB have both had health scares over the past year and we are blessed that they were able to make the trip from Gloucester and Texas to be together for another visit.  I know my Pawpaw would have loved every moment of last night's get together and seeing his siblings, but thanks to Jesus and his promise of Heaven goodbyes are never permanent. 
 
Leaving the restaurant last night, we held hands and sang Blest be the Ties that Bind as a family.  It was precious witnessing the reunion of three remaining siblings that are up there in years.  It touches my heart that "BB" wanted to come home one last time to see his siblings and that most took the time to travel short and long ways to have a family reunion.  Blest be the Ties that do bind.
 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fish and Food

Summer is flying by so fast!  It makes me sad how fast unstructured time flies by between school years.  We try to make the most of each day in the summer.  This past week we have had freakishly cool temperatures which has kind of been awesome. 

Wednesday we hit the lake to tube and fish a little.  This little fisher woman caught the most with four!! We all tried our hand at fishing and poor Pops was kept busy putting the worms on our hooks and then taking the fish off of our lines.  We are high maintenance fisher people. 
Fishing teaches patience and I love that!  David was excited to catch a big one!!
Our Kyle on the cusp of the teen years.  I am thankful for moms at church and in my life that have done the teen years and can encourage me as they are on the horizon for our family.  Kyle is an awesome kid but the teen years are going to be a new challenge for our family.

This picture melts my heart.  They have fought like cats and dogs this summer, but they truly are best friends. 

There is no where my kids would rather be than on the boat at the lake.  They love times with their Pops and GG having fun in the sun.  It makes me happy that my kids love the same place that I loved as a child. 
Brave Dave on the tube!  He has fallen off a few times this summer and has handled it well. 
Yesterday we spent a good portion of our day at church.  Each week a noon meal is served on Thursdays with a devotion and hymns.  It touches me that the folks that come to this food and fellowship meal each week consider these Thursday mornings their church time and that this is their church home.  This week the food boxes were given out during the monthly food distribution.  The youth are involved in helping move the boxes from the off-site storage back to the church to give out. 
Working with youth is not my spiritual gift at all.  I much prefer the younger children but we are blessed with a pretty awesome group of teens at church.  Jackie and Glenn Wilson do amazing things with this group and balance the service work, bible learning, and fun very well.  It is so tempting as a youth leader to lean towards fun to make kids want to come, but Jackie and Glenn are great at balancing it well.  Kyle's life has been enriched by being apart of this group.
Yesterday the youth cooked, served, and cleaned up the noon meal.  It was amazing to see youth jump in and serve.  All an adult would need to say is "I need someone..." and six of them would jump at once.  This group wants to work and serve and I was so proud of them! Here is Kyle serving plates of food to the group. 
This little love thought she was one of the youth!  She jumped in and helped too.  She would give out plates of food and say "here you go!"  It was precious  to see her servant heart in action. 
 
I was trained this week on how to do the paperwork for the folks to get their USDA box of food.  It is humbling and overwhelming to sit across from another and ask them questions about their income and what benefits they receive to make sure that they are indeed eligible for their USDA food.  I was touched and changed yesterday listening to story after story from these folks. 
 
So many folks thanked us for the meal and for the large box of food. Most were so grateful for the hot meal and the food box to take home to share with their family.  Little did they know that I was the one blessed.  This ministry is meant to serve our neighbors in need but yesterday watching my oldest and youngest serve and listening to the stories as I helped fill out this paperwork I was the one overwhelmed in thanksgiving. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Birthday Babies

I love having two summer babies.  It is fun to be able to celebrate outside and these two love celebrating together.  Because summer is so busy with baseball and such, we often have to be very flexible about when we can fit in a party for them.  Last Monday I literally looked at the weather forecast and saw that the weather for the upcoming weekend looked good.  I called the pool and blessedly they had an opening on Saturday night.  A few facebook messages and emails later lots of friends were invited to swim and party with us. 

Our big ten year old and our sweet five year old!  David thinks he is capable of amazing feats now that he is ten. 

Blessedly the weather was beautiful and we had such a fun night at the pool with friends.  With vacations and such we missed many friends, but we threw it together in five days:) 
David with the Hash girls and Kelsey.  These girls are amazing to David and it makes my heart so happy to see them together.  They were in class together this year. 
Last week I saw this princess cupcake dress on Pinterest and sent a picture to the amazing Bryan Underwood begging him to make this for Hope.  This is what he showed up with for her party.  Not only are they amazing cupcakes, but my birthday girl was thrilled! 
Sage and the Jonas made the trip from Bristol to celebrate with us.  Anytime we can spend time with them is awesome. 
David insisted I watch him jump in a million times and take a million pictures.  He likes to pose  when he jumps in.
Hope had such fun with her Daddy throwing her in!
Then Mike thought it was so easy to throw Hope in that he would try it with Kyle!  Ha!  Kyle is almost as big as we are. 
Hope had some preschool friends and some Tball friends there to help her celebrate.
Hope picked out the cupcake princess dress cake and David got an Avengers cake.  Last week while we were throwing this party together he was too lazy to go to the store to pick out his cake.  He had the idea to shop online for his cake! Sure enough we looked online and then I called in to the bakery. 
We sang to each birthday kiddo and this picture is SO David.  While everyone sang to Hope she hid behind me and was shy.  While everyone sang to David he danced front and center!  Love this little turkey!
 
While David was going through chemo and radiation at UVA, anytime his port was accessed he was allowed to visit the toy closet at clinic to get a new toy to play with.  We have received many many toys during his eight months of treatment so we thought their birthday would be a good way to help UVA restock their toy closet.  Thanks to our amazing friends we are going to be able to take all these amazing toys to UVA!!  We are so thankful to our friends for supporting this in lieu of gifts for David and Hope and we are so excited to deliver them!!! We will deliver them August 8th when David goes back for his next scan.
 
We are so thankful for these two precious kiddos, so thankful that David is here with us and able to celebrate another birthday, and we are thankful to our friends for celebrating with us.  Above all, we are thankful to our amazing God!